Sunday, June 8, 2014

All’s for the best, in this best of all squirrely worlds

There is a parable somewhere, probably among the Muslims, concerning one small helpless creature -- let us posit:  a mouse -- who got trapped somewhere on a lofty cliff;  yet survived, and lived to an old age, because each day, without fail, winging its way across hundreds of miles  of depthless chasms and fearsome crags, a bird came, bearing in its beak  the daily sustenance of that grateful mouse.
And thus we learn, O ye faithful, that God  the maker of all things, who raised the firmament upon the pillars of the Earth,  doth provide, in weal and in ill, for all his creatures.
(So endeth the lesson for today.)


The other day, expecting company, I finally swept the deck.  Yet between the planks, little bits of things were wedged, which the broom could not dislodge.  I considered fetching a knife or a screwdriver to try to pry the things out;  but then thought, de minimis.

Now, this morning, this sweet silent Sunday, to my surprise and delight, that gentle little squirrel (smallest of all her kind) whom I wed last week  while in a state of sciurine metempsychosis (for I am far too old-fashioned to contemplate cross-species matrimony), returned to our back deck.  (You can read all about our nuptials  here.)  Now, the deck had been swept, whereon she might browse at ease and nibble her fill :  Yet lo!  From out those very cracks, her tiny paws did daintily dig  a sufficiency of tasty seed, preserved there faithfully from the wind or from consumption by larger creatures,  to keep her coat fluffy, her tail frisky, her black eyes bright!  --  My belovèd!  My bride!

[Theological update]   Biblical scholars have pointed out that the above anecdote, and its moral, point out the wisdom of the Torah:

And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the squirrel.
-- Leviticus 23:22


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